Central London Home Prices Closing In On Previous Peak

Central London property continues to outperform the rest of the UK, posting a double-digit price increase in 2010. Demand is being driven by buyers on the continent looking …

Central London property continues to outperform the rest of the UK, posting a double-digit price increase in 2010. Demand is being driven by buyers on the continent looking for an investment shelter, along with dollar-based investors capitalizing on the pound’s weakness. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.

Property prices in central London are defying the general downward trend in the UK helped by the eurozone crisis, according to a new report published today (Tuesday January 11).

A reversal of price falls that began in November last year continued through December and prices rose 1.3%, according to the latest Knight Frank Prime Central London Index. This most recent price rise means that prices ended the year higher by 10.3% compared to December 2009.

The strongest markets have been Kensington, Knightsbridge and St John’s Wood, which all saw more than 3% price growth in the final three months of 2010. While he price band with the strongest performance has been the £1 million to £5 million bracket with 2.4% growth on average over the past three months.

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The index shows that prices at the end of December were 26% higher than the market low reached in March 2009. But despite this rise, prices are still 4.4% below their March 2008 peak level.

‘The central London residential market continues to outpace the weakening UK market. Prices, which were falling in the middle of the year, appear to have turned a corner and have now risen noticeably for two consecutive months,’ said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.

He pointed out that the drivers for this strength in performance are strong demand and weak supply. Buyer registrations in the final three months of 2010 were 18% higher than the same period in 2009 while the volume of available properties was only 5% higher in December than in December 2009.

‘This strong demand has been underpinned by the ongoing weak pound that is still delivering effective discounts of 25% for dollar based buyers, when compared to London property pricing at the peak of the market in 2008,’ said Bailey.

‘Added to this, the Eurozone crisis has driven new demand from European buyers, looking for the perceived safe haven investment in the central London property market. European purchaser registrations rose 25% in the final three months of last year on a year on year basis,’ he explained.

‘In short, the central London market is continuing to buck the wider UK trend of weaker sales volumes and prices. The ability for this trend to continue depends very much on the unique factors in London continuing to play out in favor of the marketplace,’ Bailey added.

This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at
Property Wire, an international real estate news site.

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